City rescinds decision to cancel Chick-fil-A sponsored event following outcry

According to Christian News Network:

Two months after a small Canadian town canceled a Chick-fil-A sponsored event due to concerns over the owners’ ‘criminal’ Christian beliefs, the town’s city council has officially rescinded their initial decision and reaffirmed the rights of men and women of all faiths to use their city’s facilities.

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Accepted in the Beloved

to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:6, ESV

Our salvation, our redemption, is God’s handiwork end to end. In all my many years as a believer, I have run across multitudes of professing Christians in spiritual bondage because they have a “distrust” of God that they absolutely refuse to admit is there, but prove it by walking in unbelief.

This “walking in unbelief” consists of believing their salvation is entirely up to them and their performance in walking in repentance to remain in God’s good graces. It is as if they have the offer of salvation, which they have accepted, but they are in deadly fear that the offer will be revoked if they sin or or not work hard enough.

This is a form of unbelief because God’s Word does not teach that. In fact, it teaches the opposite. I wonder if those in this bondage have every considered the fact that since none of us could do one thing to save ourselves, therefore, the teaching we will be held eternally accountable to a standard of perfection that is impossible for us to be conformed to in this life is a heresy.

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What about that Australian study about same-sex parenting?

Janice Shaw Crouse, author and executive director and senior fellow at Concerned Women for America, questions the methodology of a recent same-sex parenting study that was conducted in Australia. She says the study “‘found’ that children’s well-being with homosexual parents was as good or better than with heterosexual parents.” Crouse disagrees and claims that lines were blurred between facts and fiction.

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Homosexual man fired from children’s ministry for introducing boyfriend to kids

According to Christian News Network:

Homosexual advocates are outraged that a Christian children’s ministry in Texas fired an employee after he introduced his boyfriend to a group of children under his care.

Children’s Home of Lubbock is a non-profit west Texas ministry founded in 1954 and sponsored by Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock. According to the church’s website, the children’s home is committed to bringing “hope, healing, a sense of worth and value to the lives of fatherless, abused, and neglected children.”

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True joy

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. Matthew 7:21–25, ESV

Genuine Christians should be seeking the joy of the Lord and are, perhaps, perplexed because their circumstances are anything but joyful. Our Lord gave us the example through the way He walked throughout His earthly ministry in which we are given what true joy is and how we must live in order to obtain it.

The following passage is right in the middle of that part of John’s Gospel dealing with the Samaritan woman at the well.

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The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them

The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.  Psalm 89:11, ESV

God worked out the circumstances in my walk so that right after I repented and turned from my self-focused religiosity to walking before Him as one bearing his own cross I was drawn into this discernment ministry. Through this I became aware of the decades of apostasy that the visible church was in and how so much of what we call “church” in our time is not.

The move away from God-focused Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy in the Church to what we see in the majority of the visible church today into man-centeredness was accomplished mostly in small, behind-the-scenes moves. Why? It is always done this way by Satan’s change agents because what is being done can only be accomplished via deception. If these people were upfront with what they were trying to accomplish, it would be stopped cold by those with the basic level of discernment.

However, we are now in a stage in their process where we see the carnage of apostasy with local church after local church all across this globe going the way of man-focused seeker-sensitivity, losing their eternal focus, and along with that, the Gospel itself. Remember that this was accomplished as a fruit of deceit. In the New Testament, the word that is translated from the Greek as “deceit” is δόλος or dolos. Our Lord Jesus lists δόλος as one of the sins that come out of the human heart in Mark 7:22.

He stated about Nathanael that there is no δόλος in him in John 1:47. Paul and Peter also include δόλος in their list of vices (Romans 1:29; 1 Peter 2:1). Let’s face it, δόλος is serious to those who truly fear God. Of course, to those who have no fear of God, so what, right? Let’s take a closer look.

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The Christian and essential oils: a few thoughts

For those Christians who haven’t heard, essential oils are big business. Big, big business. Make no mistake: essential oils are the hottest thing going since yoga invaded the church a decade ago. One of the largest and most well known of these essential oils companies is Young Living. Young Living sells its products through Multi-Level Marketing (MLM), a pyramid form of selling that works through networking. (Other MLM companies that might be familiar to some readers are Amway, Juice Plus, Pampered Chef, Herbalife and Mary Kay.)

If you happen to be one of the few that hasn’t yet heard about essential oils, just wait. One day soon your Facebook inbox will blow up with invitations to this or that essential oils home party. If you choose to attend one of these parties, you might learn some useful tips for making nice-smelling homemade cleaning products or cosmetics with essential oils, but you might also be exposed to some very unbiblical concepts about sin, sanctification and illness.

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God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart

This same Hezekiah closed the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. And so in the matter of the envoys of the princes of Babylon, who had been sent to him to inquire about the sign that had been done in the land, God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart. 2 Chronicles 32:30–31, ESV

I doubt if any professing Christian who is a genuine child of God has not come to that sobering and often devastating realization in which God has taken His hand away just enough so that decisions are made and actions are taken apart from His wise counsel. The consequences of our going it alone are humbling to say the least. God tests us in these circumstances to show us what is really in our hearts.

We are placed in circumstances in which the wise and Christian thing to do would be to seek God’s face and move only as He leads, but if we are honest we must confess that in these circumstances our self-righteousness comes to the fore or we operate from pride or instead of mortifying our sin, we indulge our flesh.

These are not marks of the unregenerate my brethren, but of the children of God. I am convinced that God uses these things to show us what we are really made of and, therefore, we are humbled and, therefore, become more usable in the Kingdom.

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Camp teaches kids how to defend evolution against creation ‘bullying’

Christian News Network reports:

A Unitarian organization in Missouri hosted an evolution camp for kids earlier this month, during which the kids were taught how to defend evolutionary theory from critics, including Christians.

According to a report from the Springfield News-Leader, the First Unitarian Universalist “Church” of Springfield sponsored an evolution camp this month for about 30 children. The camp, which took place July 7–11, was designed for youth between the ages of 5 and 11.

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My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7–10, ESV

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:10–13, ESV

I believe that what ails the Church the most at this time in the early 21st Century is actually the root of most, if not all, of the growing apostasy we are witnessing. This ailment is the product of decades of poor doctrine and man-serving preaching and teaching. God has given the Church, except for His Remnant, a spirit of stupor that has blinded them so that they have believed the lie that the center of all things is not Christ, but themselves.

Their felt needs are far more important to them than God’s glory. They view God as being good when their circumstances are ok, but not good when they aren’t. They have bought their goods at Vanity Fair and they have become their idols. Let us look at a wonderful Biblical example of a man who did not devalue his relationship with God in order to have temporal pleasure.

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Jesus Christ our Redeemer

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Romans 8:33–34, ESV

The “Emergent” or “New Evangelism” gospel is one that claims that the sound doctrines of orthodoxy which teach us about the atonement, advocacy, and propitiation of Christ for the sake of His sheep are unnecessary “add-ons“ to Christ Jesus and, in fact, simply get in the way of truly knowing and emulating Him. If that is so then why did the God-inspired writers of the New Testament give these sound doctrines to us in such great and clear detail?

These are not “doctrines” of demons. These are not “doctrines” made up by men. No, these are the doctrines given to us by God Himself that reveals God to us, gives us the truth about our own sinfulness and spiritual bankruptcy outside of His grace, and the superiority of Christ our Saviour, our Advocate, our propitiation, our Redeemer.

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Rethinking the Bible: a reassessment among some evangelicals

Jim Hinch, contributing writer for the Orange County Register, writes that a growing number of evangelicals are asking if their historic view of Scripture is too dogmatic. In his piece, Hinch includes the opinions of several professing Christians – including Rob Bell (who has been exposed as an apostate) – as he endeavors to examine what is going on in the increasingly liberal church in America. According to Hinch, “A study this year by the American Bible Society found that nearly 40 percent of Americans under age 30 never read the Bible, while 16 percent of young adults consider the Bible ‘the actual word of God.’”

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Bishop Tony Palmer, who urged Catholics and charismatics to unite, dies in motorcycle crash

Stand Up For The Truth is reporting on the tragic death of Anglican Episcopal Bishop Tony Palmer who was a close confidant of Pope Francis:

The last time we heard from Charismatic Bishop Tony Palmer, he was coordinating a meeting between Pope Francis and Palmer’s guru Kenneth Copeland. Today Palmer was killed in a motorcycle crash.

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Bethel’s Bill Johnson: “Jesus was so empty of divine capacity…”

John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire writes concerning the latest heresy coming out of Bethel Church in Redding, CA:

Bill Johnson is an effective purveyor of kenosis, the heretical teaching that Christ operated on earth solely as a man, with no “Divine capacity” whatsoever. Every miracle, every healing that Christ performed, according to Johnson, came about through the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Johnson teaches, we can all perform healings and miracles, since we also have access to the Holy Spirit.

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The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:18–20, ESV

It seems that the default theology of Man is “Justification by Death.” Justification is a legal term where a person is declared “not guilty” by a judge. No one seems to have a problem with the concept of all people being sinners.

However, our culture says that all people will be sent to Heaven when they die regardless of how they lived their lives. Once there, they will receive rewards or lose rewards based on the quality of their character. This is why the Doctrine of Hell is seen as “judgmental” and “Pharisaical” by those of the “New Evangelism.”

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Contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:3–4, ESV

The Epistle of Jude is generally attributed to the half-brother of our Lord Jesus Christ. In v. 3 we learn that his original intent was to write an epistle on salvation to his recipients. However, he was compelled to write a call to battle for the truth instead.  Why? The church was being infiltrated by some apostate teachers. I hear from so many who attempt to say that God’s plan for the church does not include doing this.

I was told by one fellow once who was trying to stop me from exposing his favorite “emergent” leader that God had commanded that we should allow the tares and wheat to grow together in the church and let God sort them out as our Lord shared in the parable of the Wheat and Tares found in Matthew 13:24–30. However, Jesus interprets this parable for us in v. 38 telling us that the field containing the wheat and tares is the world, not the church, and those told to leave them be until the judgment are angels, not Christians (v. 39).

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:18–21, ESV

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1–2, ESV

The phrase “in the beginning” tells us that the Word existed before creation. The Greek word for “beginning” here is arche. It simply means the most extreme or outermost point of something. John uses this word to refer to the beginning of the universe. This would include time, space, and all matter. The word John used that is translated “Word” here is logos. This word is best translated as “intelligence.” It was used in Greek philosophy to signify the rational principle of “divine reason,” “mind,” or “wisdom.”

However, John gave this word an O.T. and Christian meaning. For example he obviously is referring back to Genesis 1:3 where God’s Word brought the world into existence. In the Psalms and Proverbs, God’s Word is His powerful self-expression in creation, wisdom, revelation, and salvation. John took this understanding and made Logos refer to a person, our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word was not a created being subject to time and space. He is outside of creation.

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Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:12–14, ESV

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 1 Corinthians 1:18–19, ESV

What is the preaching of the cross? This is God’s total revelation, the Gospel in all its fullness. This preaching or teaching is centered in the incarnation and crucifixion of Christ. It also includes the entire divine plan and provision for the redemption of sinners. This is the theme of all Sacred Scripture. This teaching is foolishness to those who are perishing. The Greek word that forms “foolishness” here is the root word for our English word “moron.” It means “absurdity.”

Those who are perishing see the message of the cross as utter foolishness or moronic or absurd. What does it mean that they are perishing? The Greek word that is translated as “them that perish” is a present participle. It implies continuous or repeated action. Later in v. 18 we have the term “saved.” It is also a present participle.

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The Lord knows those who are His!

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18, ESV

My father-in-law went on to be with the Lord several years ago, but during World War II he was a U.S. Navy Pharmist Mate. In today’s Navy, they are called Corpsmen. These are the medics who hit the beach or land in the choppers with the Marines or Navy Seals when they go into real combat. My father-in-law hit the beach with the U.S. Marines in the Pacific on the Island of Okinawa not long after they had gone through the holocaust of Iwo Jima. He was about 20 years old at the time. He hit the beach as a boy and left that island at the end of the battle with a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He rarely talked about it. I asked him to describe the battle in which he won the Bronze Star. He had volunteered to go in under fire to treat several wounded Marines then wait for a tank to come in as the means to take them out. That was where he earned that Bronze Star and the second of his Purple Hearts. He had already been wounded before he volunteered. He described the combat as men falling all around him.

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Ian Thorpe and mindless political correctness

After years of denial, Australian five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe admitted during an interview that he’s “gay.” And of course the media, celebs and activists applauded the swimmer for his so-called bravery. Author and Christian apologist Bill Muehlenberg takes to task those who deliberately cover up the truth about what he calls the “high-risk deathstyle” of men who have sex with men. “The only ones who are brave today,” Muehlenberg points out, “are those who dare to resist the homosexual juggernaut. They are the new pariahs and scorned outcasts in the West, and they will be treated savagely and with ugly fury by the militants and their fawning supporters in the media.”

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Women bishops approved by Church of England

Sky News writes:

The Church of England has voted to allow women bishops for first time in its history.

The decision, taken by the General Synod in York, reverses a previous rejection in 2012.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, said: “Today is the completion of what was begun over 20 years ago with the ordination of women as priests.

“I am delighted with today’s result. Today marks the start of a great adventure.”

The issue over whether women should be allowed to become bishops has caused internal division since the Synod approved female priests in 1992.

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